Monday, October 27, 2014

sugar sugar

It's a fact that as American's we eat too much sugar.  You don't have to go far to find an article, health report, or TV talk show about the evils of eating too much sugar.  I therefore won't bore you with those facts.  But the reality is we all enjoy our sugar.  In moderation, I hope.  I enjoy real sugar in my coffee each morning.  And a very small piece of chocolate can finish off a meal nicely.  And we can now buy Oreo's in Nairobi - another little sugary treat!

I don't think I've ever been to a US grocery store and seen the sugar shelves empty.  Occasionally here in Nairobi sugar will disappear from the shelves for a short period of time.  But then there is always the option of buying brown sugar, or caster sugar, or icing sugar.  And these days we even have sugar substitutes.  So, I've never had to go without sugar.  Having a steady supply of sugar and sugary drinks may seem like an inalienable right for those of us living in the West! 

A well stocked shop in South Sudan

Last evening I received a text from Adhanom who is at his base of ministry in South Sudan.  He let me know that the shops in his little village have run out of sugar.  Last week they ran out of salt and clothes washing soap.  Poor ordering of supplies is not the problem.  Rain is.  It's been raining so much over the past 6 month long rainy season that the roads are now practically impassable. 

One of 5 areas where the rains have taken over the road where Adhanom lives

Supplies, fuel, food, all kinds of things are in short supply.  Sugar in South Sudan is not an inalienable right.  Neither are roads that have proper drainage.  Or enforcement of law and order.  There has been terrible fighting and many deaths in the State where Adhanom lives this past week,  originating from cattle raiding and inter-clan revenge clashes.  

South Sudan needs our prayers.  Mango Ministries is also gearing up for several important ministry activities in the coming weeks that need prayer. 

Many of you have been praying for me for years (decades??!) and some of you reading this blog joined my prayer team this past year as I shared on my Homeland Ministry Assignment.  Thank you one and all.  Your prayers are crucial and I want to give you some specifics to pray for.  Whether you are praying on a specific day of the week or every day I hope the following information can help shape your prayer praises and requests on behalf of Mango Ministries.  

Pray for the 150 blind men and women who will receive physical sight between Nov. 7th to 12th.  Our prayer is that their hearts will also receive sight as they are ministered to by the local pastors and the health care staff.  Pray for our Tenwek Eye Team as they will be traveling on Nov. 6th and 7th and 13th and 14th.  Pray that all the equipment and supplies that are needed reaches Tonj in a timely manner.

Pray for 50 women and children who will receive surgery at House of Hope Hospital in Yei between Nov. 7th and 12th.  Pray as each person is offered real hope through Jesus Christ.  Pray for the Tenwek surgery team of 4 who will have the opportunity to alleviate suffering and as they travel on Nov. 5th and 6th and 21st-23rd.  Pray that the team will have the equipment, supplies, and meds that they need to best help each patient who comes for care.

CHE 2 in East Rumbek County held in August 2014

Pray for 30 women and men who will be attending their 3rd week-long training in Community Health Evangelism in East Rumbek County.  Pray for this area that has been cut off from the closest major town by rains preventing transport of food and supplies causing sky-high inflation.  There has also been a lot of fighting in this area.  Pray for Adhanom and Margit as they facilitate the training in early December.

Several of the Trainers in Training who will attend the Facilitators training

Pray for 7 men who will be attending a Training of Facilitators course in Community Health Evangelism on Nov. 14th and 15th in Tonj.  John and Beth Muehleisen and Adhanom will be facilitating this.  Pray that each facilitator will better understand the concepts of adult education and improve their facilitation skills as they practice.

Pray for 30 women and men from the Tonj area who will complete their 4th week of Community Health Evangelism training from Nov. 17th to 21st.  Pray for John and Beth Muehleisen and Adhanom as they facilitate this training. Pray as the participants return to their homes to train Health Committees and for those who will go out and teach home-to-home.  Pray for the In Deed and Truth project that is embracing CHE as a ministry tool. 

Farming God's Way

      Pray for folks who recently received training from Adhanom in Farming God’s Way (FGW) who live near Rumbek.  Pray for wisdom in implementing new agricultural practices and for good harvests.  Pray for Adhanom as he spends time visiting those who have been trained in FGW, CHE and Biblical Storytelling in Lakes State. 

      Pray for a good return on investment for Mango Ministries.  Pray that the relationships that are formed between trainers, facilitators, health workers and the South Sudanese men, women, and children God brings us in contact with will reap Kingdom fruit.  Pray also that all of us in Mango Ministries will be changed as we witness the strength and perseverance and hope of a people who have suffered.  Pray for peace for South Sudan.  Pray for an end to the political fighting.  Pray for an end to the tribal and inter-tribal fighting.  Pray for Godly leadership.  Pray for His Kingdom to come to South Sudan.

It often feels like we're in deep water as we navigate our way through ministry.  Your prayers help make a way.  Thanks for investing your time in prayer to help build His Kingdom in South Sudan!


Do you ever wake up and need to do a quick orientation?  A few times in the last few months I've found that I wake up and I'm disoriented.  I first look to see where the light is and orient myself to where the windows are - sometimes that tells me where I am.  If not, without opening my eyes too wide, as I wake up very slowly, I take note of where the door is.  If that doesn't do it - I feel around to see if I'm in a double or a single bed. Usually by then I have remembered where I am!

Although my physical surroundings keep changing I know that wherever I am I need not fear for the Lord God goes with me.  The Lord goes before me . . .  how encouraging.  (Deuteronomy 30:6, 8)

I stayed quite busy in September.  My parents came up to NJ from Florida for a few weeks and we had some good family times, like a picnic at the Cape May Point State Park.

Then we were all able to visit with some of my mission champions at an Open House on September 14th.  

Joy and Lindy Phillips chat with Bryce Hogan

And among other things I traveled to the southeast, further disorienting me each night!

It was great to catch up with friends and former WGM volunteers . . .
. . . . like Laura Denison, (volunteer to Tenwek with her husband Dr. Mark Denison, circa 1986) enjoying beautiful mums at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville.

. . . . and former VIA Whitney Smith McMunn who spent 1 year in South Sudan 2012/13 as a CHE facilitator,

. . . . and former Asbury Manor Dinner Club friends (circa 1983-85), Rev. John and Kathy Kearns and their church family at Christ Harbor UMC in North Point, AL

And then I caught up with my long-time Tenwek neighbor from years past, Linda Parks, in Mayberry, oh, I mean Mt. Airy, NC.  

. . . . and others who I didn't get pictures of, including my brother and his family.  Sorry guys!

I loved attending the Missio Nexus Leaders Conference in Atlanta as well.  
"The movement of people brings with it new cultures, ideas, beliefs -- and their hearts are more OPEN to the gospel."  Topics discussed were Immigration and Migration, Globalization, Urbanization and Exploitation.  I'm constantly reminded that God is bringing the Nations to North America - what an unprecedented opportunity to share Jesus love with people that are our coworkers, neighbors, and students in our schools.  

I'm now back in Kenya and preparing to orient some new volunteers who will be going into South Sudan in less than two weeks.  South Sudan is more fragile than ever!  Detailed prayer info in my next blog update.  Praying that Jesus will bring His Kingdom to the people of South Sudan who are experiencing a lot of disorientation.